Two Women Vie To Become Cheyenne's First Female Mayor

Oct 25, 2016

Marian Orr (left) and Amy Surdam (right) are running to become Cheyenne's first female mayor.
Credit Marian Orr, Amy Surdam

The Cheyenne mayoral race is heating up as it heads into its final weeks before Election Day. It’s a historic race, as two women vie to become the city’s first female mayor. 

After advancing from the primaries, candidate Amy Surdam got pushback from her opponent Marian Orr after she called them both girls instead of women. 

Reporter James Chilton, who is covering the race for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, said other than that incident, gender has actually played a small role in the race.

“It’s more about ‘do we vote for the candidate who says we need to take care of our streets and our infrastructure today, or yesterday if at all possible? Or do we want to vote for the candidate who wants to balance our upcoming spending on infrastructure and amenities?” said Chilton.

Orr’s campaign is focused on improving Cheyenne’s infrastructure, particularly its roads. Her opponent, Amy Surdam, has a platform more centered on bringing new amenities to the community, like a rec center and a children’s museum. Neither candidate is affiliated with a political party. 

Chilton said personal attacks from both candidates have ramped up throughout the general election.

“It’s not mudslinging,” he said. “It’s more of an effort to characterize who is best equipped to hold the job of mayor, based on what their goals are, what their policies are.” 

Cheyenne does not have any kind of voter polling, and, because of that, Chilton said it’s tough to say who is in the lead but that he expects it to be a close race.

He said voter reactions to having a female mayor have ranged from neutral to mildly positive.